MRC studentships


Eligibility for MRC studentships

To qualify for a studentship, a student must meet certain eligibility criteria related to:

  • their academic qualifications
  • their residence status

There are also special rules about recruiting international students.

Academic qualifications

The registering institution is responsible for determining if candidates have the relevant qualifications and experience to undertake a doctorate. It is also responsible for ensuring that qualifications gained outside the UK are of an equivalent level.

For more information read the Quality Assurance Agency’s UK quality code for higher education.

Residence requirements

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) studentships are open to international students from the 2021 to 2022 academic year onwards.

Students will receive a full award, to include a stipend and fees at the home level. Fees-only awards will no longer be an option.

UKRI will normally limit the proportion of international students appointed each year through individual doctoral training programmes to 30% of the total.

To be treated as a home student, candidates must meet one of these criteria:

  • be a UK national (meeting residency requirements)
  • have settled status
  • have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements)
  • have indefinite leave to remain or enter

If a candidate does not meet one of these criteria, they are treated as an international student.

For more on residence requirements read UKRI’s terms and conditions for training funding and UKRI’s guidance on EU and international eligibility for UKRI funded studentships.

The research organisation is expected to check students’ residence status before awarding a studentship. If you need advice relating to eligibility, contact your research organisation’s registrar’s office.

Last updated: 6 July 2023

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